Third Avenue El
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An impressionistic picture of the Third Avenue Elevated Railway in Manhattan, New York City.
New York City
- 2002-07-16 00:00:00
- Closed captioning
- United States
- ca. 1950s
- Run time
Subject: Man with a movie camera
Subject: The 3rd Ave El
As a native NYC'er (who currently resides very near to where the3rd Ave El ran), this is really amazing - I wasn't yet born at the time, and, aside from reading a mention of them in a book of Truman Capote's short stories, there's, sadly, nothing left of them, other than these ghosts.
Sigh... I've nothing against progress, per se, but, what's happening now - NYC ONCE had everyone living both in Manhattan, and the boroughs, then the borough's became enclaves of various groups, then, the (ugh) gentrifiers came, moved the people out, and now, Manhattan is very unaffordable to most, and getting worse.
The (yuck) t--r-sts, galumphing around, acting like this very UN-typical 'American' city is a d-sn-y playground (it ISN'T - EITHER), with both headquarters for MANY INTERNATIONAL corporations, as well as the United Nations.
I REALLY wish the tourists would be limited - both in number and where - and when they can visit.
Otherwise, VERY soon, MUCH more than just the El's will be memories.
Subject: one of the most beautiful short films i ever seen
Subject: I'm impressed
Subject: Live There
Subject: Superb documentary
Subject: WOW, What a Ride!!!
With only a single dime to link "the day in the life" stories of the EL train together, this lovely vignette takes us briefly into the lives of its riders, the photographer, drifter, little girl and her guardian, and the young couple. The music really does work well, giving a frenetic pace on par with the demanding duties of the EL. The editing is quite well done (and matches the music very well), and the "special effects" (negatives, sepia tones) are quite striking considering just what had to be done to achieve them in this era. Many of the camera angles as well are of particular interest, leading the transit photographer like myself wondering just how they were achieved, particularly two scenes, one taken from inches above the rail as the train rumbles over some switchwork, and another from an elevated vantage on a swinging bridge over the East River.
Great stuff, and with great replay value!!!
Subject: Stepping Back
It's also very personal since I rode the "El" many times as a kid. In fact, I used to commute to Stuyvesant HS from Yorkville every weekday. How I loved standing next to the motorman's compartment, looking out the window of the door at the onrushing tracks, passing trains, and the always spectacular skyline of the city.
I recall the announcement to tear it down as well as the "promise" to replace it with a Second Ave subway. That never happened of course and I have often wondered if real estate owners and developers didn't turn a trick to get city hall to approve the El's destruction.
I remember, in 1956, when it was bing torn down how sad it was to see the pillars, denuded of the track structure. I had the sense that I was looking at the stumps of amputees and they too would soon be gone. Later, when ever I turned the corner from 86th Street onto Third Ave. I always had the idea that I was looking into the mouth of someone who had lost its teeth.
Sure, it was obtrusive and noisy to those who lived near it but it was a great, even romantic, element in what was the best, most reliable and least expensive public transportation system in the world.
Here's to the "El" and the forward-thinking historian-filmmaker that made this priceless documentary.
Subject: All aboard!
In this award winning film, (It was nominated for an Oscar in 1956) we get sort of a slice of life in 1955 New York while whizzing by on this train. The train itself looks very oddly decorated I noticed, with itÃÂÃÂs patterned glass. Also, the people who rode the train seemed to be happy go lucky people, as compared to, I imagine, the vagrants and lowlifes it would have attracted (that dime wouldÃÂÃÂnt have lasted 10 minutes). Reccomended!
Subject: Wonderful Film!
Subject: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling.
Subject: Third Avenue El
Subject: "Daybreak Express 2"
Subject: Shades of Manhattan Towers
This was a wonderful way to experience something by being a spectator only and the artists let the process unfold in a fluid and natural way. It was fun to watch this. The music tickled the action in the right places and a wonderful vignette of a time long past, with all its subtleties and the things taken for granted were there for the viewer to take in.
This was a real gem.
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